Monday, August 18, 2014

Water World

just when we thought life couldn't get any better, Jimi found a hammock; his own piece of paradise. 

And fresh coconut water to go with his rum.

We are staying at Captain John's marina located at his personal residence; it's small, but quant. There are three other boats here, all of which the owners have flown home, until recently when one of them returned. We have access to a nice swimming pool, but it's completely shaded and very cold. I can’t stay in for more than ten minutes when my goose bumps  become the size of raisins and that’s with me floating on my raft. Jimi gets in all the way, but he doesn’t stay in more than ten to fifteen minutes either. We go in everyday just long enough to cool down. It's blistering hot here; much hotter than we’re used to.

I've been doing yoga (by myself) in the mornings between six and seven on our dock. Normally it's early enough that I am the only one up, but the other morning four or five people were out and about, walking all around me. I pushed on though. I kept my eyes closed and with my headphones on, I didn't hear much other than the footsteps on the dock. Jimi said our neighbor sat in his cockpit and ate his breakfast while he watched me. Haha - it's funny. There's a cat here named Stinky. He is the most lovable cat. He comes by to say hi and helps my with yoga every morning. He rubs against my legs and arms,flops down on my matt and grooms himself. When I need to,  I move him over. 

Stinky also visits us quite frequently on Sanibel’s deck or in the cabin. He is the nicest cat, clean and well groomed. He loves attention and making muffins. The only problem we have with stinky is his drool problem. The more we pet him, scratch his neck and the more he purrs the more he drools. I’m not talking a few drops here and there…it’s a constant dripping faucet.

 We took our cockpit cushions in to get the foam recovered. The material is tearing and has been badly damaged  from the sun. The cost is $192. It would be between $155 and $165 for the materials had we done the work ourselves. It’s  worth a few extra dollars to have it done professionally and reduce the headache for me.
 Our saloon cushions had just the opposite problem. The foam is old and broken down, whereas the fabric is like new.  So we bought new foam for $70. I’ll did the repair myself and the new foam feel fabulous on our backs. We no longer sink to the plywood when we sit.

The clothes are inexpensive here, we plan to stock up on some things. Jimi needed shorts and we found a bunch at the used clothing store in his size, name brand and in excellent condition for $5 each.. I may pick up some dresses, shirts and a few other things too. The average price for a nice shirt will be about $8 and $12 for a dress. I bought a pair of really nice flip flops for $5 and nail polish for sixty-five cents. Yes, we’re happy with the prices.

The town is compacted and bustling with activity. Not only are the streets lined with shops, but they are lined with food vendors, people carrying hammocks, jewelry, sunglasses and other things for sale. The oddest thing we’ve seen was a girl selling antibiotics and painkillers from a basket hanging around her neck, no prescription needed here. Semi trucks, tut-tuts, cars, trucks, motos, people on foot  and vendors all share the same street.

Cows hauled in a Toyota pickup - try this is the U.S.

The walking drug store.

This is a small grocery store owned by Wall-Mart. Continguent upon Wal-Mart coming into this area was the name would be Familia Despensa.

Chicken rotated over a wood fire - yummmm.

One of the first things we were told my multiple people before we went to town was… “ Do not stand by the cattle truck”. If you do, you are likely to get peed and pooped on. Yuck!

In our shopping experience we’ve found that the fruit and vegetables are among the freshest we’ve ever experienced. The bell peppers scream with flavor, the bananas stay yellow longer and the strawberry’s are available year round for a fraction of the cost in the U.S.  We can eat from a street vendor for less than we can buy food in the grocery store. Lunch one day was a piece of fried chicken (cooked on the spot) and French fries for fifteen Q ($1.90) each.

We visited an ancient castle just up river from us, Castilla de San Felipe. In the 1600s it was used to protect the area from pirates. The structure was reconstructed in 1955 and is now well maintained for visitors. It has several levels, lots of little rooms and numerous cannons looking over the river and the lake.

We took a collectivo thrity minutes inland to a natural hot springs, but with all the rain, the river was too high and roaring. We’ll go back another day to enjoy the waters.

It’s certainly hot here. Sanibel heats up and then it’s hard to get her cooled down. But we’ve found that if we spend more time outside in the shade and cool down once a day in the icy pool we are pretty comfortable. There is some breeze at the tiki palapa of the marina. I like to take my computer and books, etc. to the palapa and just spend the day. It’s rained every night since we arrived and  for a short while on most days. On one hand it’s nice to have some cloud cover and cool things off, but on the other hand it means closing Sanibel up.

A homemade Guatemalan spear gun. 

Captain John has a large screen TV with satellite in the palapa. We can actually watch American channels, but we haven’t as of yet.
Aside from exploring our new surroundings, we’ve done some lite shopping, Jimi’s been working on a few boat projects and I’ve kept busy with my various craft projects.

Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus.

This is my favorite bird. It swims underwater to catch fish. It also floats along with only its head and long neck sticking out of the water and then it finds a place to spread  it's wings for drying. This one landed on the bow line. I managed to snap a photo before it flew off.

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